1980 Mercedes-Benz 300TD V8 Conversion

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Are you a fan of the Mercedes-Benz W123 estate but find yourself saying “I coulda had a V8?” Then look no further. This 1980 300TD Estate has a 5.7 liter Chevrolet V8 under the hood, a handy tool to keep up with traffic and even embarrass a few unsuspecting motorists. For sale in California, this looks like a well-done build, right down to the stock Mercedes V8 air cleaner box being adapted to the new engine. Now this is a sleeper.

Click for more details: 1980 Mercedes-Benz 300TD V8 Conversion on eBay


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Year: 1980
Model: 300TD
Engine: 5.7 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 120,511 mi
Price: $12,900 Buy It Now

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1980 Mercedes-Benz 300TD show car. V8 5.7 liter, automatic turbo 700 transmission, ice cold air conditioning, hot heat, power windows, power locks, AM/FM stereo CD sound system, factory moon roof, super nice non-smoker interior, beautiful bodyand paint, custom shaved moldings and roof rack, custom ronal wheels, over 15k just in conversion, less than 500 miles since completed, book of receipts, 4 wheel disc brakes, many many custom one off parts, aluminum driveshaft, european headlights, simple wire system, all upgraded, all converted to GM releability and power. This is a one of a kind wagon the Mercedes mechanic spent 10 years to finish this unique one of hot rod. Stops all heads at car shows, all built on original California rust free wagon. Don’t miss this one of kind wagon, please email for more info. VIN 12319012014513

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This 300TD offers the best of both worlds: the best of Mercedes-Benz build quality along with the reliability of Chevy V8 power. If this were my estate, I’d swap the aftermarket wheels for some stock Mercedes alloys and install the slimmer Euro bumpers to compliment the Euro headlamps. The deletion of the roof rack and side moldings gives this W123 a smooth look without drastically altering the appearance. But when you first lay eyes on this Benz, you know something is not quite right. All doubt will certainly be removed when the driver puts the hammer down.

As far as the price is concerned, it’s a toss up. This car certainly has had a lot of work put into it, but like most restomods, it’s difficult to get a return on that investment. Currently, W123 estates are averaging in the $9,000 to $14,000 range for good examples, so this one is right in the middle of the mix. For purists, this 300TD may be blasphemy. For someone who is looking for a car that is a bit easier (and cheaper) to maintain, however, this could be a good solution.

-Paul

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2 Comments

  1. This is cool, and this seller has a steady supply of cool (mostly European) cars he’s listed over the years, all photographed on the same sick driveway in California. But, jeez that’s a tiny description on old car that’s had a lot of work done to it.

    Total speculation based on the limited info, I could be totally incorrect, kinda correct, or (least likely) 100% correct — it’s an older chevy small block swap with an engine from the 80s or 90s. Either the swap was also done at least a decade ago, or someone just had the stuff lying around. I say this because the LT1 was the first kind of high tech SBC, it appeared early to mid ’90s, and made 260-330ish HP and you can get one now w/ a 4L60-E slushbox for probably $1k-2300 complete. And that’s not even an LT1 in there (no reverse flow coolant routing) which means it’s older (and simpler, no electronic transmission controls). But it’s probably low to mid 200 HP and not that fuel efficient either. For $3-6k you could get a much newer SBC (& trans) like the LS1, LS4, or even newer LS6 (330-450ish HP).

    So I guess you’d have to do the math on what a 1980 MB 300TD would set you back ($3-7k last 8 or so completed auctions on eBay), minus what you could sell that working engine & trans for ($1k?), and at the bare minimum you could probably pay someone to do all the work (call it $2k labor) and drop in a 330HP 94-96ish Corvette or F body LT1 in there w/ maybe even a T-56 B&W 6-speed stick (call it $3500 for complete drive train and ancillary swap parts and mild engine tune up parts) and come in under the $13k (by about $1500) this guy is asking for a car and engine swap he seems to know little about.

  2. No smog check required on diesels in CA. Nice car.

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